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Palestine: New settlement project part of Israel’s annexation, occupation scheme

The picture taken on October 14, 2020, shows new buildings in the Israeli settlement of Efrat, south of the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. (Photo by AFP)

Palestine has condemned a decision by Israel to construct 2,166 new settler units across the West Bank, saying the project shows that the Tel Aviv regime is still implementing its illegal occupation scheme.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the settlement activity will add up to increasing Israeli aggressions and crimes against the Palestinian nation.

The fresh Zionist measure is “part of the process of gradual annexation, looting and occupation of the occupied Palestinian land,” read the statement carried by SAFA news agency.

The settlement project, it added, is in line with US President Donald Trump’s self-proclaimed “deal of the century,” which is aimed at eliminating the Palestinian cause and the so-called two-state solution.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israel’s West Bank Civil Administration planning committee gave final approval for building 1,313 units in several settlements while plans for another 853 settler units were advanced.

The Israeli settlement approvals came less than a month after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize relations with Tel Aviv.

The UAE claimed at the time that Israel had agreed to abandon West Bank annexation plans in exchange for normalized ties.

Also on Wednesday, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli move is against all international conventions and laws.

The occupying regime continues to expand settlements in the region to steal Palestinian territory in the shadow of the silence of the international community and “unrequited normalizations,” he noted, criticizing the Trump administration for giving unconditional support to Israel’s occupation and illegal activities.

“We urge the international community to intervene immediately to stop this settlement madness, which destroys any chance for a genuine peace process,” the Palestinian official said.

Jordan calls for decisive steps against Israel

Similarly, Jordan denounced Israel’s new settlement construction project as “a unilateral and illegal step that undermines the chances of a two-state solution.”

Jordanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Daifallah al-Fayez said in a statement that Israel, as an occupying power, has an obligation to halt all settlement activities, whether they are construction, expansion or expropriation of land.

He also called on the international community to take decisive steps in order to pressure Israel to stop the activities that undermine peace efforts.

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